Current Team

Dr. Naresh Thadhani

Naresh Thadhani is Professor and Chair of the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Georgia Tech (GT), which includes 38 faculty and ~370 undergraduate and ~185 graduate students. He joined the GT faculty in 1992, after six-years in the Center for Explosives Technology Research at New Mexico Tech, and two years as a post-doc at CalTech. He was appointed as the School Chair on August 1, 2012, two years after MSE merged with the former School of Polymer, Fiber, and Textile Engineering. He received his B.E. in 1980 from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur, India, M.S. from South Dakota School of Mines, and Ph.D. from New Mexico Tech, all in Metallurgical Engineering.

Professor Thadhani is recognized for his work in shock-compression and high-strain-rate deformation of materials. His research has focused on the fundamental mechanisms of shock-induced physical, chemical, and mechanical changes under high-pressure shock-compression, and the deformation and fracture response of metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites, subjected to ballistic impact and high-strain-rate loading. He has led significant advancements in the understanding of shock-induced phase transformations and mechanical properties of bulk metallic glasses; design, development, and characterization of structural energetic materials, and the shock-compression response of highly heterogeneous (granular) materials through meso-scale computational simulations and experimental studies with meso-scale spatial and nano-second resolution temporal diagnostics.

Professor Thadhani has advised 15 visiting scientists/post-docs; 29 Ph.D and 14 M.S degree students; mentored 50+ undergraduate researchers. He has attracted research funding exceeding ~$17M from federal agencies including the AFOSR, ARO, DARPA, DTRA, ONR, NSF, as well as from several national DoE and DoD laboratories and industries. He has co-edited 12 books/proceedings, published more than 300 papers in refereed journals (including several invited review articles) and conference proceedings, and presented more than 150 invited talks/seminars. He has served or is serving on review boards including the National Academy of Science panel at the Army Research Laboratory (2015 and 2016), academic program review at Universities of Texas at Austin and El Paso, University of Notre Dame, University of Florida, and the University of California multi-campus national lab collaborative research program review, and external advisory board of Materials Science and Engineering program at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has provided high levels of service to professional societies, and organized numerous workshops/symposia/conferences.

Professor Thadhani is a Fellow of ASM International and the American Physical Society. He was recently elected as an Academician of the EuroMediterranean Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Research Scientist II

Dr. Greg Kennedy

Dr. Kennedy is our Research Scientist II and go-to-guy. He received his M.S. from Georgia Tech in Materials Science and Engineering, and his Ph.D. from Kumamoto University in New Frontier Sciences. He is a outdoorsman and avid bicyclist.

Graduate Students

Sukanya M. Sharma

Sukanya Sharma is a third-year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. She completed her BE in Mechanical Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology in India. Her research  interests lie in the field of Damage and fracture of materials. Sharma is primarily interested in the science of fracture and in the development of stronger and safer materials for the future. She is co-advised by Dr. Naresh Thadhani amd Dr. Arun Gokhale to understand the fracture mechanism of Advanced High strength steels under dynamic loading for automotive applications. 

Sharma is a part of the Graduate Student Organization and also mentors undergraduate students. In her spare time, she enjoys reading novels, travelling, swimming and cooking. 

Katie Koube

Katie studies the effect of shock and high strain rates on dislocation interactions in additively manufactured metals, with a focus on Stainless Steel 316L. She is interested in the manipulation of micro-structure through additive manufacturing to create metals with superior high strain rate deformation responses compared to traditionally processed metals. Utilization of in-situ TEM to characterize dislocation movement during strain as well as analysis of post-shocked samples can help to characterize the unique response of additively manufactured micro-structures to shock environments.

Travis J. Voorhees

Travis is a fourth year Materials Science & Engineering PhD candidate.  He completed his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona in East Los Angeles, where he captained the collegiate Track and Field team and led multiple corrosion science research projects focused on evaluating the biocompatibility of Ti-TiB metal matrix composites.  Travis is currently investigating the dynamic compaction behavior of brittle granular materials under shock wave loading.  His research efforts are both experimental and theoretical.

Travis uses the 80 mm light gas gun in the High Strain Rate Laboratory to shock compress cerium CeO2 powders to densities within the incomplete compaction range.  The Hugoniot data collected from these experiments is used to develop and calibrate compaction models for continuum-level free-Lagrangian FVM simulations of CeO2 under complex multiaxial shock loading.  Travis spends his summers at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with the PHELIX and Proton Radiography teams to conduct and simulate magnetohydrodynamically driven liner implosion experiments on CeO2 powder with in situ proton radiography.  Travis is a fellow of the Krell Institute’s Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship.

Travis is actively involved with the MSE Graduate Student Advisory Group and helps to run the Graduate Recruitment Fair and other social events in the MSE department at Georgia Tech. Travis is also involved with NACE International and is nominated as the 2018 Vice Chair of TEG 331X at the NACE Corrosion 2018 Conference & Expo. When not doing research, Travis is a children’s backpacking guide in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, leading elementary and middle school students on 30 to 120 mile trips with the Poway Backpackers nonprofit organization.

Karla Wagner

Karla Wagner is a second year Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering in Dr. Thadhani's group. She graduated from Georgia Tech with her BS in MSE in December 2016, where she was a member of the marching band and served the community through Tau Beta Sigma. She has worked largely in the aerospace field, focusing on engineering composites while interning at Gulfstream, Boeing, and SpaceWorks Enterprises. Karla's research is currently focused on understanding the dynamic response of highly heterogeneous 3D printed particle composites and developing quantum dots as mesoscale optical sensors for use in high strain rate work.

Karla is an active mentor to undergraduates through the MSE Industry-Student Mentoring Program, after being mentored herself as an undergraduate at Georgia Tech. She is also involved in the review and judging of both PURA and capston research projects. She has been recognized by receiving the FLAMEL Fellowship through Georgia Tech, funded by the IGERT award. In her spare time, Karla enjoys playing the oboe, reading, and skiing. She loves her pet rats and hopes to one day teach them fun tricks.

Andrew Boddorff

Andrew Boddorff is currently a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Material Science and Engineering School at Georgia Tech. After graduating from Hamilton College in 2010 with a degree in Chemistry, Andrew joined DC Teaching Fellows to become an educator and enter the classroom with the intent of serving the vulnerable student populations in the nation’s capital. Andrew joined the faculty at Ballou SHS and worked for five years as a Chemistry teacher and eventual department chair.

The love of science that he passed onto his students eventually lead him to return to the lab, joining Dr. Thadhani’s group. His thesis centers around understanding how the heterogeneities present in additively manufactured materials affect shock properties through gas gun experiments. Andrew is a NASA Pathways Intern and will continue work on additive manufacturing of metal's work that he started this past summer in Fall '19. Beyond the lab, Andrew enjoys physical activities such as hiking and Ultimate Frisbee as well as cerebral pass times, such as board games.

Keara Frawley

Keara Frawley is a first-year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. She received a BSE in Materials Science and Engineering and a BA in German Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2018. She is working with Dr. Naresh Thadhani and Dr. Rampi Ramprasad to use gas gun experiments and molecular dynamics simulations to study the behavior of polymers under high strain rates and pressures.

Ananya Jain

Ananya Jain is a Materials Science and Engineering student at Georgia Tech and is from Kashmir, India. She joined the Thadhani lab in her first year and is jointly advised by Dr. Thadhani and Karla Wagner. Her latest experiments are geared toward characterizing Perovskite Quantum Dots with the overarching goal of using them as mesoscale pressure sensors based on their tunability and response features. She also assists with scanning and imaging profiles of 3D-printed structures using computational methods and works with the MicroCT, laser, and big and small high-strain gas guns.

Outside the lab, you will find Ananya working on her Private Pilot’s License, chasing squirrels, and hunting down new art galleries to get lost in. She also likes to keep a close watch on the medical field, travelling to Guatemala and India to help doctors there. Mostly, however, she is seen enjoying a hearty laugh with her friends with her practical jokes!

Weiliang Zhang

Weiliang Zhang is a visiting Ph.D student from Dept. of Mechanical Engineering of Tsinghua University. He received his bachelor degree in MSE at Central South University in China, where he studied hot deformation of titanium alloy and criteria for evaluating glass forming ability. His current research lies in dynamic response of light weight alloys concerning adiabatic shear instability and anisotropic plastic deformation at high strain rates and is under the advisement of Dr. Thadhani. He was awarded several scholarships from Ministry of Education of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

During his spare time, Weiliang loves to play table tennis, watch movies, and go hiking in nature. He shows great interest in interstellar travel and mystery of dinosaur extinction.

Undergraduate Students

Justin Steiner

Justin Steiner

Justin Steiner is a fourth year undergraduate Materials Science and Engineering major at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He joined the Thadhani group as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Fall 2016 semester and has been working with the group since.  He is mainly under the advisement of Travis Voorhees and Greg Kennedy.  Justin helps with various tasks around the lab such as machining projectiles, taking accuracy measurements, prepping the 80mm air gun, 3D modeling and water-jetting parts, and helping set up laser velocimetry instrumentation.

Outside of the lab Justin is in a fraternity, actively involved in Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech (ORGT) Backpacking, and supports multiple campus outreach programs.  Justin loves to travel and backpack, with the most recent trip being a through hike of the 133-mile GR20 trail in Corsica, France.  Justin is a Marine Corps Officer Candidate and will be commissioning as a Second Lieutenant after completing Officer Candidate School.

Dong June Jang

Dong June Jang is a 2nd year Materials Science and Engineering undergraduate student from Marietta, Georgia. He joined the Thadhani group as a research assistant during the fall of his freshman year. Since then, he has participated in the MSE Research Scholar’s program the following spring and summer semesters. Currently, Dong June is under the advisement of Andrew Boddorff, whom assists with 3D printing, image processing, and materials preparation.

In his free time, Dong June keeps himself busy with various hobbies and extra-curricular activities. He is currently serving as co-president of the GT chapter of Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association. In addition, he enjoys playing the guitar, hanging out with his roommates, and finding new places to eat in Atlanta.